What Is Property?
The mere mention of property conjures up visions of crowded, dirty and run down apartments; rundown motels; dilapidated houses that are run down to the ground; and people living in them because they cannot afford to pay their mortgages. In reality, the property is a little more complex than that. Property in the real sense is what belongs to, with or in place of something, whether as a physical feature or as part of that item. In the broadest sense, one can think of property as that which someone owns or at least has a legal claim to, such as a home, an automobile, a bank vault, or a vacation home.
In legal terms, the word “property” denotes ownership. But there are a lot of differing opinions on what “owned” means. For some, it means possession. According to the law, when one posses a property, one is legally entitled to that property, while others define possession more expansively, including the right to enjoy the benefits of ownership, but not to use it, repair it, or enjoy all the benefits that ownership affords.
Another view of property is simple ownership, or ownership by right of an individual. It could also mean that one owns the right to use a certain property. This could be an exclusive right, or it could be a license, or lease. A landlord, for example, has the legal right to occupy the property and use it for the duration of his contract with the tenant.
In a broader sense, ownership means possessing the property without any right of the property owner. This could be described as possessing the property “with the right to use it.” But this definition does not always mean the same thing, and some property owners will hold themselves out to be owners in reality, while in fact they have no legitimate claim to the property.
Property, then, is a term that relates to the possession, and possession in the legal sense refers to legally having the property. However, the property can also be thought of in a more metaphorical way. Property is sometimes thought of as something that one owns or possesses. One could think of a house as being property, since a house is a physical object that one owns in the sense that it can be owned and occupied by someone. One could also think of a vehicle as being property, because it is an abstract object that one occupies in a specific situation. But it must be remembered that each of these kinds of property is different from one another, and that they may overlap one another.
Whether a person owns a property at the time of the sale is a question of fact, which may be decided by a court of law. The sale of a property does not extinguish the owner’s ownership. The owner may, in many cases, lose possession of their property after the sale, although this is not always the case. Property does not disappear in a transaction between persons who are legally unrelated to one another. If there is a clear benefit to the purchaser from the transaction, then ownership is considered to be a continuing grant of property.